After a long hiatus, I'm going to play in the brand new "Giantslayer" adventure path.
Reading the Player Guide, it gives me a good amount of hype. It suggests a lot of builds made to play *as* a giant, sort of. Titan Mauler, Titan Fighter, and this kind of stuff.
I read about Goliath Druid, and I really like the concept, and I feel it REAAAAALLY fits the player guide spirit. So that's what's going to be my character.
My first few concepts reduced the starting point to either half-orc or dwarf. Dwarf sounds extremely powerful in this AP, with so many racial traits against giants, and +CON and +WIS is as good as +STR from the half orc, probably. Half-orc has a great vibe for the goliath, though (easy to re-skin as a half troll, which probably will be you go-to form later on), and the favored class bonus is quite cute (+1/3 NA). Also, the Dwarf trained trait *sort* of help to reduce the gap with dwarves in the anti-giant department.
A few things I need to know for Goliath Druids.
They can only wildshape into dinosaurs, megafauna and giants. But Ptenarodons descrpition says they are not considered dinosaurs (they are pterosaurs). Are they considered dinosaurs for wildshape? If not, is there *any* option for a flying form for Goliath druids? If not, how do you overcome this?
Weapons or claws? I like characters that aren't glass cannons. I like survivality, and thus, I like AC. Druids in wildshape often are a bit of weak in the AC side. Goliath have some extra toughness over regular pouncing-dire-tiger-druids, at the cost of a lot of damage, though. Shillelagh + Shield seems to be a decent combo for a while, and gives you a nice bump in AC, which might help to keep the character in the "only hit with 15+" zone of confort. But later, you'll lose a ton of damage that way. Troll form gives you bite + 2 claws + Rend, which isn't bad, and more damaging than shillelagh + secondary bite, but still can't compete with pouncing by any means. Could Vital strike help to solve that? I'm trying to stay within theme, so I'm not going to be a conqueror ooze, but maybe Shillelagh + Large/huge sized club could be decent enough? I'm not trying to be the highest damage in the table, just not being a dead weight.
As a snapshot, at lvl 12, as Half Orc you could have:
+9 AC (+3 breastplate, made of ironwood or dragonscale) + 2 luck (jingasa + fate favored trait) +1 Insight (ioun stone) + 4 shield (+2 regular shield) + 4 natural armor (giant form) + 4 natural armor (favored bonus) +5 enhanced natural amor (barkskin) +2 deflection (ring) + 1 Dex -1 size, for something around 41 AC, which might be up to 43 with feats (shield focus, dodge if you want) and 45 vs giants (dwarven training trait from the campaign), which is enough to be hit only with 20s by CR11 Cloud Giants, which sounds about Ok. Specially because you'll have also Regeneration 5, damage resist, several resistances (planar wildshape into a fiendish ice troll, for example). Saving throws also are OK, except for reflex. You'll raise wisdom decently, and troll form gives you +4 CON, and both Will and Fortitude are good saves for you, plus you have +2 luck from orc tattoos and fate favored.
But the damage department might be more troublesome, though. By this level, a wand of Shillelagh probably won't be enough anymore (although I think it's quite viable until here). As a Large Troll, with Shillelagh, your damage would be +3d6 only, even with vital strike and devastating strike it won't be impressive.
The above lvl 12 dude would have something like:
15 starting stregth +2 racial +3 level ups + 4 enhancement + 6 size bonus, or str 30. With Shillelagh, it would have something like:
+9 BAB + 10 str + 1 enhancement + 1 competence (ioun stone), +21 to hit, for 6d6 + 10 (str) +1 (enhanchement) + 6 (devastating strike), or 6d6+17 for a vital strike, same round you move. Could use Power Attack for extra -4 to hit and +8 to damage, but it's not that good for 1h weapons.
Compared to pouncing allosaurs, that's sad. A full round would have 3 attacks, including the secondary bite, but that's not really impressive anyways. 2 claws + bite + Rend would do a bit more (depending on how much Greater Magic Fangs you spend, quite a lot more, especially with amulets of natural weapons with Holy, or Giant Bane or something like that), but then you lose like 4-5 AC, and you are no longer in the "hit with 20s" cattegory. I guess if you want to do damage, you should be using a dinosaur form instead of a giant form anyways. Maybe with a level of barbarian, so you can use furious Finish? It seems that pouncing allosaurs, and vital-striking tyrannosaurs are going to do a lot more damage.
PS: companion would be a Ankylosaur or Stegosaur, I think